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Unchecked kids frustrate fellow fliers

Fri., Dec. 27, 2013, midnight

Flying for the holidays can be fun but also frustrating, and sometimes it’s our fellow travelers who drive us the most crazy. And the “most annoying” are “inattentive parents” followed by the “rear seat kicker,” according to a study commissioned by

The travel website’s 2013 Airplane Etiquette Study found that many of those surveyed were annoyed at parents traveling with “loud children,” with nearly 50 percent saying they would pay more for a seat in a special “quiet zone.”

I understand a crying, fussing kid is no fun on a plane (for anyone), but I would argue that doesn’t always mean an inattentive parent. Sometimes babies and young toddlers just can’t be soothed. But seat kicking must be stopped, obviously.

The survey found that people don’t like their seats kicked nor do they appreciate smelly, boozy or chatty fellow travelers.

Interestingly, many of those surveyed reported they don’t like “seat-back guy,” defined as the passenger who reclines his or her seat as soon as the plane is airborne. But more than 80 percent reported they recline their seats, although many said only when sleeping and not immediately after takeoff.

Though 10 percent of Americans report having “been intimate” with someone on a plane, Expedia’s study noted that “The Amorous” passenger ranks No. 15 on the list of worst etiquette offenders. On the whole, Americans prefer that their fellow passengers remain dressed while in flight.

Expedia vice president John Morrey said there might be a lesson on the list for all of us.

“Planes are flying full, and the holiday season is traditionally hectic, so in-flight etiquette is at premium,” he said. “Most of us, when we look at the list of offending behaviors, can admit to having committed one or more of the violations. So this season, perhaps we can all take care to be as friendly and accommodating to our fellow passengers as possible. After all, we’re quite literally all in this together.”

“Ask Mr. Dad” writer Armin Brott is off this week.


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